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Historical Geographers and Pre-Modern Regions : A Complicated Relationship, by András Vadas (Eötvös Loránd University)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Human and historical geography from their beginnings was using the term ‘region’ frequently. Both in the English and the French historical tradition ‘region’ is deeply imbedded and has been considered as a cornerstone in the historical analyses from the late nineteenth century onwards but writing regional histories has a much longer traditions rooting in medieval historiography.

However as it is the usually the case with such terms, its meaning and role in the different discussions was depending on the very context. On the one hand geomorphologists and social geographers had fundamentally different understanding of the region as such, and on the other the analyses spanned from settlements and their immediate surroundings to macro-regions such as Eurasia. The paper and the seminar aims at explaining how historical geographers and scholars of the related sub-fields use ‘region’ in their interpretative frameworks. The works to be touched upon show how regions were interpreted in historiography starting from Vidal de Blache through the Annales historians to historians and historical geographers of late twentieth-century East Central Europe .

 András Vadas is assistant professor of medieval history at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest from where he holds a PhD (2015). His research interest is environmental and economic history of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. His works discuss the problem of the environmental change brought by military activities in the Carpathian Basin as well as on mills and milling in medieval Hungary. His monograph Körmend és a vizek. Egy település és környezete a korai újkorban [Körmend and the waters. A settlement and its environment in the Early Modern period] was published in 2013, he co-edited a number of books, including Medieval Buda in Context and the Economy of Medieval Hungary (both published with Brill). Currently he is working on a PhD at the Department of Medieval Studies on historical water-management in the Carpathian Basin under the supervision of Alice M. Choyke and Katalin Szende